From Beyond (1986) Review for Halloween Horror Fest

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Bloody hell I can’t find a good poster for this movie…

From Beyond (1986)

Directed by Stuart Gordon

Based on From Beyond by H.P. Lovecraft

Starring:
Jeffrey Combs
Barbara Crampton
Ken Foree
Ted Sorel
Carolyn Purdy-Gordon

Running time: 80 minutes (original), 85 minutes (unrated)

Plot Synopsis: (via Wikipedia)
From Beyond centers around a pair of scientists attempting to stimulate the pineal gland with a device called The Resonator. An unforeseen result of their experiments is the ability to perceive creatures from another dimension that proceed to drag the head scientist into their world, returning him as a grotesque shape-changing monster that preys upon the others at the laboratory.

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Before I Start…

This review will be full of SPOILERS, especially in the pictures. But I HAVE to include the pictures – this movie is mental.

This is the first movie I’m reviewing for my Halloween Horror Fest. Saw it about a month ago. Now, this is a film that is definitely not for everyone. If you like Re-Animator meets Society meets Slither meets The Thing meets David Cronenberg meets H.R. Giger-type sexual imagery meets “body horror”, From Beyond will be right up your alley. If you’re now looking at me like I’m nuts, you might want to skip this one.

Put it this way – there was this annoying woman I used to work with and couldn’t stand. She was all “perfect mother”, “perfect housewife”, yada yada. She used to look at me like I was mental when I would go all geeky discussing films & couldn’t understand why I had no interest in the things she did for fun like sew & bake cakes (nothing against anyone here who does these things for fun!). My point is this: If she still worked with me, I’d totally recommend From Beyond to her in the hope that she would hate me forever & stop talking to me. It’s one of those types of movies.

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My Opinion:

Like I said – If you like any of the movies that I mentioned above, you’ll like this. This was made by Stuart Gordon, who also made Re-Animator. Both films also star Jeffrey Combs & Barbara Crampton and are (I assume very loosely!) based on H.P. Lovecraft stories. (Barbara Crampton also starred in the recent horror You’re Next). I know Re-Animator is a cult classic but I’d not heard of From Beyond until recently. I think it’s just as good/bad as Re-Animator. I actually think it’s more memorable.

20131011-092854 am.jpgSo anyway – these two scientist dudes are conducting experiments to stimulate the pineal gland, a small gland in the brain which apparently (according to this movie, at least!) looks like a tiny penis. Especially when the experiment causes it to grow & pop out of this dude’s head. Yeah, spoiler. But, seriously – check this shit out!:

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Hilarious! Anyway, I’ve looked the pineal gland up online and still don’t fully understand why stimulating it makes you all into S&M and made Barbara Crampton put this outfit on:

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I also don’t understand why it allows you to see creatures from another dimension. But, anyway, it does in this film. It also makes you want to eat brains. Yum.

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Ken Foree, the dude above, is from one of my all-time favorite movies (Dawn Of The Dead) so it was cool seeing him here. Barbara Crampton gets naked (as usual?) so guys should like that. And. Yeah. Not much else to say. This movie was probably even more fun than Romero’s Monkey Shines. It’s completely mental. And that phallic pineal gland will haunt me forever.

My Rating: 6/10

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My From Beyond Haiku:

Brains and S&M
Protruding pineal glands
Naked Crampton boobs

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My Top Movies Directed By Quentin Tarantino

**I’m updating this list on March 24th 2017 as I’ve now seen Jackie Brown & The Hateful Eight. Here we go! Counting down to my favorite (and not including his guest director credit on Sin City, a movie I don’t really like anyway), here are all the films I’ve seen that were directed by Quentin Tarantino:

8. The Hateful Eight (I wasn’t really a fan of this one)

7. Inglourious Basterds

6. Death Proof
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5. Django Unchained
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4. Jackie Brown

3. Pulp Fiction
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2. Reservoir Dogs
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1. Kill Bill (both of them – I count them as one)
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Inglourious Basterds was SO close to being above Death Proof, which few people will agree with. First of all, I should probably give Basterds a re-watch as I was especially wussy about violence that day and didn’t watch it closely enough except for the parts where Christoph Waltz or the lovely Melanie Laurent were on screen. It’s a much better film than Death Proof. But… Death Proof was fun and I really liked it. Zoe Bell was cool. I’m a girl and I like girls who kick ass (which is why Kill Bill is number one). So there you go!

AND I have an embarrassing confession to make: I’m a big film fan yet there’s one Tarantino-directed film that I haven’t seen. So I’ll update this list if I decide that Jackie Brown deserves a place in the Top Five. (Update – I’ve seen it now!) πŸ˜‰

Now off to finally write my review for Django Unchained (Review done now!). I’ll leave you with a shitty haiku summing up how I feel about Tarantino’s crazily violent films:

Tarantino films
Are really brilliant but I
Wish I could watch them

**I need to point out that the hubby and I are having an argument over how many syllables are in the word “brilliant”. I think this is a US/UK difference. The way I say it, it’s two, dammit! Making my haiku correct… πŸ˜›

Stoker (2013) Review

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Stoker

Directed by Park Chan-wook

Produced by:
Ridley Scott
Tony Scott
Michael Costigan

Written by Wentworth Miller

Starring:
Mia Wasikowska
Matthew Goode
Nicole Kidman
Dermot Mulroney
Jacki Weaver

Music by Clint Mansell

Running time: 99 minutes

Plot Synopsis:

India Stoker’s beloved father dies in a car accident on her 18th birthday. Soon after, the mysterious Uncle Charlie comes to stay with India and her cold & distant mother. India never even knew her father had a brother and she starts to suspect that Uncle Charlie may not be all he seems.

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My Opinion:

First of all, thanks to everyone for voting when I asked which film I should review next. Stoker was the winner.

I think it’s pretty well known that the inspiration for Stoker was Alfred Hitchcock’s Shadow Of A Doubt. Being a pretty big Hitchcock fan and having just watched that one this year (review HERE), I can certainly see how similar the films are and how much Wentworth Miller clearly must love Shadow Of A Doubt. As to be expected, though, it’s not as good as Hitchcock’s film.

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I missed Stoker when it was in cinemas and I was so mad because it looked interesting & I really wanted to see it. But as it wasn’t Fast & Furious 23 or some shit like that, it was only on for one week at my local cinema. So, anyway, after fellow movie geeks seemed to love it despite some not so great reviews I think I had probably hyped it up too much in my mind & that may be why I was a little disappointed with the film.

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I’ve never seen Park Chan-wook’s Oldboy and had wanted to do this review along with that one but just haven’t had time to watch it. I’m assuming it’s a better film with all the best bits of Stoker, like some great visuals and all that director-y stuff that I know nothing about, but with a better story. Stoker looked great & it had this wonderful creepy atmosphere that I really liked. But the overall story wasn’t all that shocking or original and, with a different director, I think it would be a very forgettable film.

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I also think everyone did fine in their roles but no one really blew me away.
Mia Wasikowska was fine but I think plenty of other actresses could have played the role too. Matthew Goode has this insane look going on in his eyes so I think he was right for the role but, again, I think there are others who could have played Uncle Charlie and I can’t help but say that Joseph Cotten was a creepier Uncle Charlie in Shadow Of A Doubt. At least the character of India in Stoker has much more depth than Hitchcock’s Charlie, niece of the uncle with the same name. Nicole Kidman is also fine but she always is – I didn’t really feel like we were seeing anything new from her here.

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Overall I just found the story too predictable. It was too much “style over substance” for me. I don’t think it was bad but, if you’re going to make a film so clearly inspired by Hitchcock, I think you need to do a better job on the suspense in the film. You’re not going to top the Master in that regard but there are other films that have achieved a growing sense of anxiousness more than Stoker does, which never exactly had me on the edge of my seat.

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Summary:

Stoker is a very atmospheric film that is lovely to look at and one I’m sure that people who know anything about filmmaking would probably appreciate. In the hands of a less talented director (and without a certain shower scene), I think it would be a very forgettable film. It’s a good Hitchcock-inspired mystery but just can’t match his brilliantly suspenseful storytelling. But who can? Although it sounds like I almost hated Stoker, I did actually enjoy it. It’s a solid effort & I appreciate the attempt to make something other than the same old tired mainstream movie in this world full of horrible sequels, remakes, and “Ow, my balls!” comedies. Stoker is worth a watch for film fans but I would hope that everyone will have already seen Hitchcock’s biggest classics first to see the true master of suspense at work.

My Rating: 6.5/10

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And I’m on a Movie Haiku kick again so here’s one for Stoker. Warning if you’ve not seen it – SLIGHT SPOILER:

Strange Uncle Charlie
Masturbating in shower
Hitchcock this is not

Which leads me to two of my lists on which Stoker probably now at least deserves an honorable mention. πŸ˜‰

My Top Ten Shower & Bath Scenes In Movies

My Top Five Movie Scenes Of Self-Pleasure

See the Cast of The Lost Boys Then and Now (with Haiku!)

Say what you want about it, The Lost Boys is a classic and I love it. And I’m of the age where I loved The Two Coreys so don’t you dare go bad-mouthing them here! πŸ˜‰

I’ll just post a few photos – there are lots more at this link (other than Kiefer, the vampires especially look different! so much for not aging…): ScreenCrush

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Poor Corey Haim 😦

And I’ve not done one of my shitty movie haikus for ages so here you go:

Two Coreys defeat
Santa Carla vampires
Death by stereo

Movie Haiku

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To rescue his love
Django and Schultz hunt bounty
The D is silent

Django Unchained (2012)

A while ago I posted a Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure haiku and invited others to join in. Only got a couple of replies but figured I’d try again as I have so many movie haikus stored up (it’s an easy thing to do when you’re bored and can’t sleep). πŸ˜‰ So if anyone would like to join in & add their own Django Unchained haiku that would be cool. Might try to make this a regular feature once a week (or maybe once a month – I’m not good with commitment!).